Social Media Disclosure Update: Netflix's Abuse of the SEC

Apr 23, 2013, 14:20 ET from KCSA Strategic Communications

NEW YORK, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 2, Netflix was exonerated by the SEC when it ruled that companies are now allowed to use social networks to disseminate news, as long as they let investors know ahead of time which social networks will be utilized.

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About a week later, Netflix filed a Form 8-K stating how it intends to disclose material news and threw into the kitchen sink numerous social media channels including Twitter, Reed Hasting's personal Facebook page, Netflix's Tech Blog, its YouTube channel, among many others. However, during yesterday's quarterly earnings call, which boasted stellar results, the company did not disclose the news on any of the channels they said they would in their 8-K.

Jeff Corbin, CEO of KCSA Strategic Communications and author of "Investor Relations: The Art of Communicating Value," has been closely following this issue and been in touch with the SEC regarding its policy making efforts. Earlier this week, he sent a letter to the SEC requesting more clarity and offering suggestions that would help set the record straight in terms of what public companies need to do to ensure that no matter what channel they choose to communicate through, they will be in compliance with Reg FD.

In his blog post, Mr. Corbin offers some tips to help companies embrace social media as a means to communicate, including the following:

  1. In the company's annual report filed on Form 10-K with the SEC, every company should clearly indicate all channels through which it intends to disclose material information. This should include traditional newswire services, social media and/or any other communications channels. 
  2. If a company wishes to change such channels, it shall either do so in its next Form 10-K or through the filing of an amended Form 10-K; but a company must use all communications means specified.
  3. All material news announcements must be filed with a Form 8-K with the SEC.

To read the rest of his suggestions and the full post on this topic, see Mr. Corbin's blog:

About KCSA Strategic Communications
KCSA is a fully integrated communications agency specializing in public relations, investor relations and marketing with expertise in financial and professional services, technology, healthcare, media, energy and public services companies.  Since 1969, the firm has demonstrated strategic thinking and program execution that drives results for its clients in the ever-changing communications and digital landscape.  The firm's clients are its best references.  For more information, visit

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